Chinese drones? Shock, horror! We'll all be rooned!:
"China is ramping up production of unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] in an apparent bid to catch up with the US and Israel... The US and Israel are the world leaders in developing such pilotless drones, which have played a major role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and which analysts say could one day replace the fighter jet." (China's drones could soon challenge US, Jeremy Page, The Wall Street Journal/The Australian, 23/11/10)
Those cunning oriental untermenschen! How the heck could they have caught up with USrael on this? Well...
"On Monday morning, after weeks of undercover investigation, an elite police investigative unit detained the CEO, owners and some of the employees of the EMIT company under suspicion that they illegally sold military technology to the Chinese government. Detectives from the police's International Serious Crimes Unit detained the suspects for further questioning, and after doing so, made public allegations describing a web of forgeries and lies through which the suspects allegedly conspired to sell the sensitive military technology - including the Sparrow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) - to the east Asian superpower.
"The Kadima-based company is suspected of selling UAVs without receiving governmental clearance to do so, and of exporting military-related research to Chinese sources. They were also suspected of forging documents in order to export the equipment from Israel. Police would not say whether EMIT's founder and managing director, Ephraim Menashy, was or was not the lead suspect in the case. Menashy was the chief pilot and the test pilot for the UAV MALAT division of Israel's aviation industries during 1981 -1991. The company's CEO is suspected of bypassing export laws by claiming that he was lending the Sparrow UAV and its accompanying equipment to China in order to display it at a weapons exhibition. According to police allegations, once the CEO's actions were uncovered, he began a deliberate campaign to destroy evidence, including changing and forging contracts that he had made with the customers in question. Attorney Devora Hen, who was representing EMIT, said in an interview on Army Radio Monday that 'The CEO denies all of the incidents ascribed to him, and especially the way in which they were presented in the press'. The Sparrow, released in 2004, is, according to the EMIT company, already in use by an Asian navy. Among its features are superior surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and remote warfare operations. EMIT is one of the world leaders in the development of UAVs, and works with Israel Aircraft Industries, Elbit and other top Israeli military developers, as well as US-based Kollsman and Canada-based Oerlikon Contraves. EMIT designs, develops and manufactures cost-effective UAV systems, specialising in avionics, autopilot systems and full size and compact GCS (ground control stations) with up to 200km communication range. This is not the first time that an Israeli company has run into legal and diplomatic problems over UAV sales to China. In 1994 IAI sold China Harpy drones, a killer UAV that hovers over enemy anti-missile batteries and radar systems and then destroys them by diving into them. The scandal surrounding that sale still plagues US-Israel relations, especially in the field of military technology cooperation." (Man questioned for illegal UAV sales, Rebecca Anna Stoil, The Jerusalem Post, 22/5/06)
For more on the (ever-spreading) joy of drones see my posts The Big Picture (3/11/10) & Supping With the Devil (19/5/08).